I’m exited to report that I’ve been awarded an Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency for Spring 2010! My residency will take place in early May, at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest, a research station located within the Willamette National Forest (Cascade Range, Oregon). And yes, they really do have a 200-year plan!
Andrews Forest residencies are administered by Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word, which seeks to “bring together the practical wisdom of the environmental sciences, the clarity of philosophical analysis, and the creative, expressive power of the written word, to find new ways to understand and re-imagine our relation to the natural world.” Andrews Forest Residencies are awarded to writers “whose work in any genre reflects a keen awareness of the natural world and an appreciation for both scientific and literary ways of knowing.” Previous residents at Andrews Forest have included authors Alison Hawthorne Deming, Scott Russell Sanders, and Pattiann Rogers.
The National Science Foundation has designated the Andrews Experimental Forest a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site — one of 26 LTER sites administered by the US, including research sites in the Arctic and on Antarctica, where scientists conduct research projects designed to span human generations, gathering data and insights for hundreds of years. Like the NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research program on which it is modeled, the Long-Term Ecological Reflections project will gather a long-term record of changing creative responses to an ever-changing landscape.
For two hundred years, 2003-2203, writers-in-residence will be encouraged to visit key LTER sites in the forest, to create an ongoing log of their reflections. These writings will be gathered in permanent archives at Oregon State University. The mission of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program is to bring together writers, humanists and scientists to create a living, growing record of how we understand the forest and the relation of people to the forest, as that understanding and that forest both change over time.